Issue 2 - December 2011
Welcome to PLUS POINTS, the second issue of our newsletter. FLASH+ aims to give built environment SMEs the tools and confidence to sell green construction.There are many considerations on green design and technology solutions; what works, what doesn’t and why, how is the market developing, do we have the skills to do it and can customers afford it?

In this issue:

We talk to B&Q about their One Planet Home® programme, designed to put green on the map amongst consumers and the trade. Next, we look at the Green Deal proposition as the Government’s consultation gets underway. The Government is investing £millions on Building Performance Evaluation (BPE). We try to take the lid off BPE as the Institute for Sustainability launches a series of BPE supporting documents.

BPE: Bid for TSB funding

The Technology Strategy Board launched its latest call for applications for funding to support BPE projects on 24 October.

The competition is open to new buildings, including dwellings, and to major refurbishments of non-domestic buildings where a core objective has been to improve the energy and overall sustainability performance. The aim of the grants is to encourage the development of skills and practice in Building Performance Evaluation across the construction and property sectors. First time applicants are particularly encouraged.

The competition will close on 18th January 2012 and this will be the last opportunity for non-domestic buildings to apply to the competition. READ MORE...
Thermal Image Courtesy of BSRIA

Performance versus expectation

Many new build and retrofit projects start off with ambitious low carbon targets and high expectations of achieving them. But all too often, buildings prove too difficult to operate, expensive to maintain and use two to three times more energy than expected. As a result, owners and occupants often end up being dissatisfied. Most design and building teams hand over the keys and walk away, that’s all they’ve been paid to do. But, when differences between design intent and performance in use start to emerge, a common reaction is to blame the construction industry for not meeting the spec. If and when any problems are solved, that knowledge is not captured and fed back to inform future projects. That’s why we need to change the way we do business.

Avante, Coxheath. With kind permission from Crest Nicholson
Building Performance Evaluation (BPE) To the rescue:
Time and effort is needed to address these problems. Building Performance Evaluation is a practical process to gain an understanding of the problems and start to improve current buildings and future projects. But where to start? Much of the development of BPE has been at a high level, so the FLASH+ programme has been developed to help SMEs understand the relevance of BPE and how to use the process to enhance their business capabilities. READ MORE...

FLASH+ can help

Avante, Coxheath. With kind permission from Crest Nicholson
FLASH+ brings BPE to a bigger audience and will guide the sector in understanding simple ways to employ the process without it becoming too complicated. As well as delivering focused workshops region-wide, FLASH+ is developing a web resource that will demonstrate the business case for monitoring and measuring the work we do and provide the basics to ‘get you started’. It really isn’t very difficult. From showing you how construction projects can incorporate BPE routinely, using a process known as Soft Landings, to helping you resolve and mitigate issues that frequently arise, FLASH+ will provide the most comprehensive resource for SMEs in the South East. Soon to be available to FLASH+ members, support appropriate for designers, builders, developers, investors, owners, occupiers and managers. FLASH POINTS will bring you regular updates.

BPE also raises the question - do we have the necessary skills to deliver? This issue will be discussed in our next newsletter – so watch this space!

Green Deal on the table

The Government has just published its consultation on the Green Deal which it expects to create a £14 billion investment in energy saving over the next decade, supporting the creation of at least 65,000 insulation and construction jobs by 2015. There is to be £1.3 billion extra help from energy companies – the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) to help fund hard to improve properties or where a household might otherwise be unable to take up the Deal. The ambition is to see the overall household energy bill reduced by around £94 a year by 2020. READ MORE...

What do you think?

The draft framework has been developed in discussion with organisations in the sector, but there is now an opportunity for anybody who wishes to comment on it until 18th January 2012. There will be a number of stakeholder led events during the consultation period as well as sector specific workshops. Full details can be found on the DECC website

Derek Rees, Chief Executive, of SECBE, who are coordinating and managing the FLASH+ programme in the South East says: “It’s great to have the draft framework in front of us as the Green Deal is going to be vital in delivering the energy saving agenda and creating lots of jobs and business for the sector. There are still vital details to be worked out such as the requirements for installers and the all important relationship between them and providers. I hope firms interested in the opportunities will take time to study the details, make comment if they wish and to keep up-to-date with developments next year so that they can make the most of opportunities when the Green Deal is launched.”

B&Q’s One Planet Home®

B&Qs One Planet Home ®
If green retrofit is going to work, it will need the kind of boost that a household name like B&Q is giving. The One Planet Home® strategy, running throughout their trade and retail network, could be an important influence in the market place. PLUS POINTS gets the facts from James Walker, B&Q’s Innovation Manager. READ MORE...

Winter Conference

17 January 2012 - Crowne Plaza Hotel, Reading
Winter presents the best conditions to understand heat loss and commissioning issues in building which lead to excessive energy use. This conference will provide support in identifying and overcoming common building performance problems, and demonstrate the technologies and techniques that can be used to improve and measure performance. Winter Conference agenda includes: Introduction to Soft Landings + Change Management + Public Sector Procurement + Case Study + Technical Workshops READ MORE...

One Planet Home

15th December 2011
Workshop:  Period Buildings, ventilation & moisture control, including ‘Bungaroosh'
17th January 2012
How to understand and change the performance of buildings
19th January 2012
Workshop & site visit:  Essential updates for builders and 22nd Century Home
24th January 2012
Workshop:  Essentials of renewable energy
Hadlow College Rural Regeneration Centre, Tonbridge, Kent
26th January 2012
Workshop:  Introduction to Soft Landings & Building Performance Evaluation
28th February 2012
Workshop:  Less talk more BIM
6th March 2012
Workshop:  Less talk more BIM
13th March 2012
Site visit:  One Brighton
22nd March 2012
Workshop:  Less talk more BIM
19th April 2012
Conference:  Tools, Techniques & technologies - performance and innovation
For more details on all these events, go to:
FLASH+ is led by the Institute for Sustainability and delivered regionally by the South East Centre for the Built Environment (SECBE). Partners include Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), Construction Industry Council (CIC), Constructing Excellence, the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) and the British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM). All FLASH+ delivery partners are committed towards equal opportunities and diversity, in accordance with the Equality Act 2010. The FLASH+ project is part financed by the South East European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Competitiveness Programme 2007-13, with the aim of promoting sustainable production and consumption whilst helping to reduce the South East ecological footprint.
In Partnership with:
Constructing Excellence riba bifm Efficient Refurbs FMB

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